Have you ever had those dreams of flying where you can actually feel yourself flying? It can be a strange sensation at first, one that quickly becomes and incredible experience that is, until you wake up and its feet back on the ground again. What if you could capture that feeling in real life? It may be a little scary at first, but once you learn to trust your body (and the equipment), scuba diving is the closest human kind can get to that feeling of flying.
Many people, when first learning to dive, often find those pesky instincts kick in. Suddenly they find themselves panicking, unable to control an irresistible urge to shoot for the surface, wondering what’s wrong with them.
If his is you, don’t worry, it’s normal. Humans were not designed to breathe underwater, otherwise we would have been born with gills (and believe me, I have tried to grow them!). So unless you have gills (if you do, please let me know how you got them), you will need scuba equipment and of course proper training.
The first step is to find a dive shop that you feel comfortable with. This may not necessarily be the one closest to you. Do your research, call local shops and talk with the staff there. Everybody feels connections in various ways and have different reasons for choosing a particular shop but the most common reason is that your shop should feel like home, like your other family. This is how us we feel about our divers too. There is a lot of training to do at the beginning and you will probably have a lot of questions so it is important to feel welcome at your local shop and become friendly with the staff. Diving is fun and usually people who are addicted enough to make a career out of it are fun too and excited to share knowledge and hear about your experiences. We love diving and are always willing to welcome new addicts to share in our passion!
If there was just one piece of advice I could offer, it would be this: in the words of Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Relax! Diving is meant to be fun. You are safe with your instructor and in your environment, despite how nervous you may be feeling as long as you are able to remain calm. One of the most common reasons for diving accidents is panic. If you do feel yourself starting to rise to that moment of losing control, stop, take a deep breath and channel your inner yogi. I can’t stress enough how effective it is to concentrate simply on breathing. Deep breath in; deep breath out. Repeat. By focusing on your breath you will automatically shift from potential freak out to zen monk. Centering your attention on your breath has another benefit, one critical to mastering the skill of scuba: Buoyancy. As you will learn, the way to effectively move in the water is through the use of air controlled mainly through your breathing. Master this skill, and you will master scuba diving. Relax, breathe and enjoy the ride.
Once you get past that initial instinct reaction (and it can take a few dives to acclimatize yourself to trusting the experience), scuba diving is a lot of fun (just ask any of us!). There is no comparison to entering a different world checking out the alien creatures who live there. If you stay active diving, you will quickly realize how small and close the local dive community really is. The good thing is there are many excellent local sites to explore and lots of great people to do so with. So get out there take the plunge!
We always have new courses starting each month as well as a different Specialty course each month.
Check out our Calendar here for upcoming courses and events.
Did you have an interesting start to your diving experience? Are you going through the diving jitters now? Let us know about it, it helps yourself and others to share experiences, plus we just may be able to help you move past your fears to enjoying diving the way it should be.
Nicole Nautical Lion Riggles